PUNTA GORDA, Fla. — The well-known Southwest Florida wildlife center is busting out of the seams as more injured animals are brought to their facilities.
Peace River Wildlife Center is currently in a temporary location until they find a more permanent space, but it's taking longer than expected, which is causing challenges for them.
“This year is on tap to be the busiest year we have ever had," Robin Jenkins, DVM, the Director of Veterinary Services, said.
A clear sign that more wildlife is ending up injured.
“We are seeing a lot of patients and that is definitely not a good thing," Jenkins said.
The development in Southwest Florida is forcing wildlife into more populated areas, she said. The number of people moving into the area grows by the day.
“They all want to live in this same beautiful place that we do and we are displacing them when we move in here," she said.
Humans move into an area and wild animals have to move out. Putting them in the path of cars and other situations as they hunt for a new home. These dangerous situations can kill or injure them. The result is the wildlife center struggling to provide its version of "hospital beds."
We are woefully short on caging space," Jenkins said. “We desperately needed to add a few cages."
Jenkins said there are things we can do to avoid creating health risks for wildlife.
“What can we do to keep some of that from happening? Some of it is as simple as not putting aerosol cans in the trash. That they end up in the landfill," she said. “This time of year, around Halloween, is always a bad time because people put out those fake spider webs out and a lot of animals get stuck in those because it is just really just plastic.”
PRWC is always looking for volunteers to help care for animals as well as donations. Those donations will help them create more cages to rescue the injured animals.